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Quick Base & Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Report 91% of Organizations Altered Operating Models in 2020

Low-code leader sponsors a report conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services to highlight why leading companies are focusing on operational agility

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., November 18, 2020 – Quick Base, a leading application development platform that helps businesses achieve operational agility, today issued its sponsored Reevaluating Digital Transformation Report, with the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, surveying more than 500 global executives to discern how leading companies are accelerating digital transformation.

This year, companies everywhere reimagined the very nature of how they conduct and operate their businesses. In fact, 53% of executives surveyed said that improving business continuity and resiliency is a primary business goal, an increase of 33% prior to COVID-19. In an effort to build resilient business models, leading companies have turned to technologies like low-code platforms that enable operational agility, or the ability to flex and adapt to the market in near real-time.

Today’s report builds on the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Dual-Track Transformation Report sponsored by Quick Base issued in July 2020, which found that a dual-track approach, combining innovation at both the enterprise and critical business-process levels, is essential to digital transformation success. The second track is achieved by enabling rapid-cycle innovation, which empowers business professionals outside of IT to propose and create new applications for modernizing existing workflow processes.

“If one word could describe 2020, it’s resiliency. Businesses need solutions that can stand up quickly to meet the unknown while giving IT the flexibility to focus on broader digital transformation initiatives,” said Ed Jennings, CEO, Quick Base. “Enterprise companies are laser-focused on preparing for whatever may come in 2021 and beyond, laying the groundwork to flex operations and respond to challenges in real-time. This report clearly shows that transformational leaders are leveraging rapid-cycle innovation and low-code platforms to improve business continuity while achieving profitability.” ”

“Leaders” are forging ahead with dual-track transformation amid shifting goals

One of the most important goals of this report was to roadmap best practices to achieving operational agility with dual-track digital transformation strategies. Companies surveyed in the Reevaluating Digital Transformation Report fell into three categories based on how they rate digital transformation strategies:


  • Leaders (27% of companies surveyed) rate their transformation strategies as being very effective both before and after the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Followers (50% of companies surveyed) say their strategies were somewhat effective in both periods.
  • Laggards (23% of companies surveyed) report that their strategies were not very effective before and after the outbreak.


The report found a striking disparity between these groups among dual-track adoption. A much higher percentage of leaders have taken this approach than followers (47% of the latter group use a dual-track strategy) or laggards (only 21% do so).

Executives surveyed also reported dramatic shifts in digital transformation goals. While improving business continuity, resiliency and increased agility with operations and workflows significantly increased, enhancing customer satisfaction and improving product and service quality saw a 13% and 14% decrease, respectively. This reflects a shift toward a continuity-first mentality, as leaders have prioritized building powerful infrastructures to ensure short-term resiliency - an essential foundation before companies can focus on reprioritizing customer experience.

73% of leaders leverage low-code platforms to achieve operational agility

To achieve operational agility, it’s imperative for companies to empower employees with technology that enables digitization of all workflows. Rapid-cycle innovation creates a business-led approach to modernizing workflows across departments and workgroups, while leveraging cloud-based low-code technology to create applications and services.

In fact, 26% of leaders use a rapid-cycle innovation strategy throughout their enterprise, while 42% are tapping into it for innovation in certain departments and workgroups. This utilization contrasts significantly with peers in the other two categories: only 7% of followers employ this approach across their enterprise, although departmental implementations at 38% more closely match those of leaders.

Low-code adoption represents another clear difference between leaders and their peers with 73% of transformation leaders capitalizing on low-code technology, which is 20% higher than followers and 33% more than laggards.

In one prominent example of this approach, Geisinger Health System turned to Quick Base, which was already used throughout the organization, when the pandemic first hit to rapidly redeploy 2,000 jobs, and, through the same application, vulnerable employees were able to receive financial assistance in an average of 48 hours. Remarkably, the reassignment application was built in about one week and the company trained staff to use it in just one day, a testament to digital transformation capabilities made possible by the company's existing low-code infrastructure.

“Quick Base allowed us to rapidly respond to some of the most challenging problems the pandemic presented,” said Emily LaFeir, senior director of operations and automation at the Steele Institute for Health Innovation at Geisinger. “As a pre-established enterprise platform, we were able to quickly build a custom application that fit the unique and pressing situation at hand, while freeing up vital mindshare to plot the course ahead in a rapidly-changing landscape."

Above all, the research in today’s report shows that widespread transformation success remains elusive for nearly three-quarters of the companies surveyed. However, companies categorized as transformational leaders and who cite their strategies as successful are better positioned than their peers to weather the ongoing impact of the coronavirus and, perhaps even more importantly, they’re implementing more resilient and agile operations to attack new challenges and opportunities.

To learn more about report findings, please RSVP here to join Quick Base for a webinar on December 15 at 1 p.m. EST that will be moderated by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, featuring Quick Base CIO Deb Gildersleeve.

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About the Dual-Track Transformation Report from Quick Base & Harvard Business Review Analytic Services

To compile the Reevaluating Digital Transformation Report report, Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with Quick Base conducted an online survey with its global audience of readers in July 2020 to better understand the challenges and opportunities faced with digital transformation processes. Five-hundred respondents represent a variety of industries including technology, with roles spanning middle management to senior executives, board members and the C-suite.

About Quick Base

Quick Base is a business application development platform that helps businesses achieve operational agility, freeing enterprises to flex and evolve by safely connecting people, information and ideas everywhere. Our platform allows organizations of all sizes to develop solutions that work the way their people do, safely moving beyond the confines of traditional software development. Quick Base helps more than 6,000 customers, including over 80 percent of the Fortune 50. Visit QuickBase.com to learn more.

Media Contact:

Chris Shattuck

Sr. Account Manager

[email protected]

P: 855-300-8209

ARPR on behalf of Quick Base